Adolescent depression is a concern for most parents and guardians. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15.1% of teenagers experience a major depressive episode yearly. About 36.7% of adolescents experience a feeling of sadness and hopelessness each year. While 18.8% may experience strong thoughts of committing suicide.
Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness (MCAW) understands the challenges experienced by parents searching for credible depression treatment centers. To help the teenagers get timely interventions and depression treatment, we have set up an adolescent center in Massachusetts. Adolescents can get diagnoses and depression treatment regardless of the extent of the depressive condition.
What is Depression?
Depression is a common mood disorder that impacts a person’s feelings, thinking, and actions. In medical terms, severe depression is referred to as major depressive disorder. An adolescent has depressive disorder when a sense of sadness leads to a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. This progression needs to last for more than two weeks.
If the adolescents do not get help, they lose interest in school activities, abuse drugs, or experience suicidal ideation. Depression is a treatable mental health condition that impacts many adolescents. At MCAW we understand the unique challenges that young people face when it comes to mental health. Our team of professionals understands how depression can affect an entire family.
Depression has the potential to impact many areas of an adolescent’s life. Adolescents do not need to struggle throughout their young adulthood. They can find recovery and coping skills to help manage their depression symptoms.
We provide adolescent depression treatment in a non-threatening environment that encourages recovery and positivity.
Types of Depression
Depression can be classified according to the features exhibited by the adolescent. Teenagers may display some features for only a few hours of the day or present persistent symptoms for days. Regardless of the type of depression, they should seek treatment.
At MCAW, we determine the type of depression according to the signs displayed by the young adult. Our centers provide help for the following types of depression:
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Major depressive disorder is a more severe type of depression. Adolescents struggling with this type of depression show a wide range of symptoms. Young people may show signs like loss of interest in their normal activities, changes in appetite, sleep disturbance, or suicidal thoughts.
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Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)
Teenagers struggling with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder or DMDD may have been misdiagnosed with childhood bipolar disorder. The central marker for DMDD is that adolescents and children may show outbursts of anger. These outbursts typically seem bigger than outbursts their peers may have.
Teens with DMDD may seem irritable and have problems following the rules or authority. They may also show signs of aggressive behavior and reactions that seem out of control.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
Young people with persistent depressive disorder (PDD) may show a range of symptoms. These symptoms of PDD should occur for at least a year before the teen is formally diagnosed with PDD. Signs of PDD in adolescents include extreme changes in appetite, irregular sleeping patterns, and low energy. Teens with PDD may also experience low self-esteem, a lack of decision-making skills, and poor concentration. And perhaps the most concerning sign of PDD to parents is the teen feeling hopeless.
At MCAW, we understand that the entire family can be affected by symptoms of depression in their teenage years. We also understand that seeking treatment for your teen can be overwhelming. Our team of mental health professionals has proven experience in treating young people struggling with mental health. It is important for teens to receive the correct mental health diagnosis and corresponding treatment.
Signs of Depression
Parents and guardians may experience challenges identifying signs of depression in teenagers. The difficulty in picking out depression signs arises from the confusion between regular behavioral changes in adolescence and depression signs. Conditions like thyroid disease and drug abuse may also mimic depression.
Nevertheless, parents and guardians should seek adolescent depression treatment if they discover the following signs:
The symptoms listed above must last two weeks to qualify as a depressive disorder.
Notably, social media has been linked to depression. Therefore, monitoring social media use and cultivating a positive environment are crucial to promote mental health and well-being. Learn more about social media’s effect on teen’s mental health.
Adolescent Depression Treatment
Treatment for adolescent depression varies from case to case. There are three standard treatment options available to teenagers, which include:
Adolescents suffering from mild depression can overcome then through training on self-copying mechanisms. That means a teenager can overcome depression by engaging in specific activities through the support of a medical care provider. Regular physical exercises, for instance, can help teenagers overcome feelings of sadness and improve their moods.
However, sometimes only a trained medical provider can help the adolescent begin a physical exercise program. Parents and guardians should appreciate the desire of teenagers to make independent decisions and avoid pressuring them. Taking the adolescent to a treatment center helps instill a coping mechanism with minimal resistance.
Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, can be used as a standalone treatment for mild depression. However, to treat moderate to severe depression, a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Most depression treatment centers in Massachusetts use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which has proved an effective treatment for adolescents.
CBT focuses on solving the issue affecting the adolescent. The CBT approach to treating depression helps adolescents identify negative thinking and feelings. Although challenges in life are inevitable, a positive approach to solving them helps reduce the risk of depression.
Family therapy has also shown positive results in treating depression caused by dysfunctions in the family. A therapist may call the adolescent alone or apply the family therapy approach. The provider will make this decision depending on the causes and extent of the condition.
Antidepressant medications are also used to treat moderate to severe cases of depression. However, caution should be exercised when treating adolescent depression with antidepressants. Some antidepressants that treat adults may not respond well to teenagers and children. Parents and guardians should only accept antidepressant treatment from authorized medical care providers.
Participating in activities such as cooking can also assist parents in supporting children coping with depression. Explore the benefits of cooking with your kids.
Depression Treatment Center - Near Boston, Massachusetts
Depression can be a common and debilitating mental health disorder among adolescents. This mood disorder can affect emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. With therapy and medication when needed, recovery from depression is possible.
If you are looking for depression treatment centers in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness (MCAW) is here to help. We provide assessment and treatment of adolescent depression through our day treatment or intensive outpatient program. Our treatment approach helps them recover and gives them the ability to overcome future challenges. We also treat a variety of other mental health disorders and are committed to supporting your teenager. Contact us today to get started.